20 June 2024

Ovation as groundsman Harry, 92, picks up top award

By Andy Johnson

A 92-year-old groundsman who has dedicated nearly 80 years of his life to Humbleton Cricket Club has been honoured in the Yorkshire Cricket Board’s Cricket Collective Awards.

The event at the new Howard Suite at Headingley Stadium recognised the work done by volunteers within grassroots cricket, celebrating those dedicated to providing opportunities for all to enjoy the sport. Award winners came from all areas and backgrounds across this most famous cricketing county.

Among the winners were coaches, scorers, administrators, grounds people and umpires all of which serve their clubs, communities and sport giving endless time and energy to ensure cricket is a sport that can be enjoyed by all who take part.

Representing the Holderness area was Harry Jackson, who has served Humbleton Cricket Club for 76 years and who was handed the Volunteer Grounds Management Team of the Year award.

Award winners were notified in August before a media team visited Harry at Humbleton to create a video for the awards night.

This was an opportunity for Harry to show his skills while educating everyone involved with how his techniques produce the best possible playing facilities for his beloved Humbleton Cricket Club.

On Thursday, November 23, Harry travelled to Leeds to receive his award – and it was Harry and this video that stole the show.

At 92 years of age this most humble of gentlemen tore at the heart strings as the whole room of in excess of 200 people rose as one to offer a full two minutes of standing ovation while Harry made his way to the stage to collect his award.

The local cricketing community are well aware of the efforts of this well-respected stalwart of local cricket, but thanks to Harry receiving this award the whole of Yorkshire’s cricketing family now know of the incredible dedication he has shown for so many decades.

From his 76 years of pitch management to 70 years of organising the annual raffle, ensuring the club has sufficient funds to survive, as well as serving the club as umpire, treasurer and secretary, Harry has dedicated his life to Humbleton Cricket Club.

Harry is quick to point out the support of his late wife Kathleen ensured he has been able to give his time in such a way, although he also managed to convince her to produce wonderful cricket teas for more than 50 years.

In recent years Harry has tried to tell people he has slowed down a little, yet on his 90th birthday, after a day celebrating, to the surprise of the club coaches who were holding a session for the clubs younger members, Harry turned up at the ground at 7.30am. When approached to be congratulated on reaching this milestone, Harry confirmed he had just come down to get the first cut of the wicket done for Saturday’s game! This sums up the selfless attitude that Harry has always shown during his lifetime.

Moving forward, Harry is excited for the new season as he looks forward to another season of groundswork, and long may that continue.

Cricket clubs can not survive without volunteers. At Humbleton we have the best and you would need to go a long way to find somebody who has so actively committed their life to a club. Well done, Harry – that standing ovation will live on long in our memories and was so richly deserved.